How to Make Different Knots for Hemp Jewelry

By Tiffany Garden
A ball of natural 20 lb hemp twine.
bindfaden image by Christian Jung from Fotolia.com

Hemp jewelry making is a craft that can be enjoyed by all ages. Hemp pieces are made from repeating various knots along a length of the twine, and changing the knot type can give you a whole new look. There are four knots covered here, all based on the basic square knot.

Square Knot

Step 1

Cut a 3 yard length of hemp twine. Cut a 1 yard length of hemp twine. To mount the knotting cords, take the 1 yard cord and fold it in half. Secure the top and the bottom with masking tape. This is the beading cord.

Step 2

Run one side of the 3 yard cord underneath the beading cord. Take both ends of the 3 yard cord (working cord) and hold them together. Pull up until the center of the working cord is a half inch below the top of the beading cord. You should have a right and left working cord.

Step 3

Start a basic square knot by taking the right working cord and bringing it over the top of the beading cord. If you leave some slack, it will look like the number 4. Now take the left working cord, pull it over the right cord, and bring the left cord under the beading cord, and through the hole of the 4 that the right cord is making. Now pull right and left working cords until the knot is tight. This is half of a square knot.

Step 4

Repeat step 3, starting with the left cord this time. When you pull it tight this time, you will have completed a full square knot.

Step 5

Repeat step 3 and 4 until you have reached the desired length for your piece. Bracelets average 7 inches in length, while necklaces start at 13 inches for chokers. The repeating square knots will make a pattern that looks almost like a ladder. Beads can be added to the piece at any time by mounting them on the beading cord and pushing them up. You can easily square knot around the bead to secure it in place.

Alternating Square Knot

Step 1

Cut 4 lengths of 3 yard hemp twine. Find the middle of each cord, and then bring them together. Overhand knot all four folded strands together by wrapping the folded ends around your finger, and then running the twine through the hole that the wrap makes.

Step 2

Secure the loop that was made with the overhand knot, and spread out all 8 strands. Divide them into groups of four, and start with the left group.

Step 3

Make a square knot as you did in the first section, pulling it tight. Repeat this process with the right grouping.

Step 4

Bring the innermost strands of the right and left group together and pull them tight. Now take the next innermost strands from each group and make a square knot with this grouping. This is a full alternating square knot.

Step 5

Repeat the 3 step process until you have reached the desired length. You can adjust the pattern of the alternating square knot by making the knots loose or tight. Loose knots look lacy, while tighter knots have a bulkier appearance.